CITY DIARY

A row has broken out in Middlesbrough between the city's football club and British Steel, one of the largest local employers, following the discovery that the club was using 1,800 tonnes of German steel to build its prestigious new £16m stadium. With several foundries in the Teesside region capable of doing the work, British Steel has declared itself "very sad and disappointed to see the local football team using foreign steel" and has withdrawn its sponsorship of the club's man of the match award and taken down its hoardings. The embarrassed club said it regretted the decision and blamed the builders.. The contractor involved, Taylor Woodrow, passed the buck to an Irish sub-contractor. The sub- contractor is not answering the phone.

The Harlequins City fund-raising dinner proved a typically raucous event. At the inevitable post-meal auction, guests were coaxed into buying caricatures of famous players accompanied by a personalised inscription. On Reuter's corporate table, Duncan Fullerton, information technology vice-president at Salomon Brothers, found that a £700 picture of Brian Moore, Harlequins captain, was accompanied by an example of the hooker's jockstrap. "I hope he is not too fussy about personal hygiene," snorted the player, grasping a pint of beer.

Elsewhere, a picture of Will Carling, England captain, was cheekily bought for £680 by Girand Pascal, a Frenchman working at Merrill Lynch, who explained: "I only bought it to make him inscribe it with the words, `France is the best'."

These well-connected Edinburgh types know how to live. Gavin Gemmell, chairman of the Edinburgh fund managers Baillie Gifford, recently won the Queen's award for exports. To celebrate he is visiting Johannesburg for the Rugby World Cup. Who better to go with him than his former boss, Clifford Hastings, who happens to be father of the Scotland captain?

Martin Ebner, the revolting shareholder at UBS, has set the cat among the pigeons in the serene Swiss banking capital of Zurich with an advertisement in several newspapers that makes several allegations against the bank's august directors. Mr Ebner has campaigned against the bank's moves to give equal voting rights to both classes of shareholders and is calling for non-registered shareholders to vote against the board at next week's annual meeting. However, Nikolaus Senn, chairman of the bank, has started preparing to take libel action against his shareholder. "It has caused a lot of anger here," a spokeswoman said.

What is Christopher Heath up to? Since the Barings crisis the former Barings boss has determinedly taken as low a profile as possible. Now the markets are whispering that he is up to something. There is wild talk of a triumphal return to pull Barings Securities out of its current malaise. Other rumours centre on a new broking business in Latin America, possibly using poached Barings staff. His secretary says: "He will call you in a week or two when he has an announcement to make."

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